Pemberton UMC Celebrates 250 years, Third Oldest Congregation

June 11, 2019 | | GNJ News

This year marks the 250th anniversary for Pemberton United Methodist Church, making it the third oldest congregation in the country and the congregation celebrated this milestone at a gathering of more than 200 current and former parishoners at a gala on May 3.

The congregation began in 1769 under the leadership of Captain Thomas Webb who wore a patch over his right eye and dressed in his British military uniform. Bishop Francis Asbury preached there in 1772 and the first church building was constructed in 1775. In 1785, Dr. Thomas Coke wrote: “This church has been favoured with a faithful ministry for sixteen years.”
The building has changed over the years and the church was rebuilt in 1895 after a disastrous fire. But throughout its history the congregation has continued to flourish with a faithful ministry that today includes Loads of Love Ministry, Food Pantry, and God’s Closet, where people come to get gently used clothes, nonperishable food items and vouchers to wash and dry clothes on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

The celebration included music from violinist Monique Brooks-Roberts and keynote speaker Dr. Tony Campolo.

“I am so happy that my whole family is here to witness this exciting day in the history of our church,” said Shirley Adams who has been a member of Pemberton for over 71 years.